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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

U.S. tracking multiple signs of Iran-North Korea missile ties

U.S. intelligence agencies have numerous indications of close cooperation between Iran and North Korea on developing ballistic missiles, the director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency said last week.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, center, poses with his delegate on his arrival at the airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Nov. 12. AP/Korean Central New Agency via Korea News Service
Air Force Lt. Gen. Trey Obering told reporters that a recent Iranian missile test was one sign of Teheran-Pyongyang missile cooperation.

“I don’t know that this particular flight [test] would be a validation in and of itself,” Obering said of the Iranian missile test. “But I will tell you that we have many other parameters that we can see that collaboration between those two countries.”

Also In This Edition

North Korea provided Iran its Nodong medium-range missile technology, which was adapted into Iran’s Shihab-3 missiles, a mainstay of the Iranian missile forces that is based on Scud short-range missile know-how.

Officials suspect that Iran has also acquired technology from North Korea related to the intercontinental Taepodong-2, which North Korea unsuccessfully flight tested in July 2006.

Iranian officials have said Iran is developing both space-launchers and long-range missiles.

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